Head fears staff will leave

STAFF who have helped lead a Dewsbury school’s revival may quit the district  when it closes, the head teacher has warned.
Kirklees Council chiefs confirmed Birkdale High is to be axed after a review of the failed £200 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.
It means the Wheelwright Drivebased comprehensive has already taken in its last group of 11yearolds.
Under the plans Birkdale’s buildings will remain but the school will be taken over by neighbouring Westborough.
Birkdale posted record GCSE results this year, which council officials claim provides a “strong platform” for the integration of pupils and staff elsewhere.
Head Christine Caraher blasted the decision and said: “It’s possible Kirklees could lose some if its best teachers over this.
“If this goes ahead, some are going to worry about the future. Two into one doesn’t go. I fear some staff may have second thoughts about staying.
“Somebody who’s a head of department here will be moved to a school where there’s going to be someone else in that job.
“So they might not be offered a similar job at the same level. It could be enough to make them consider leaving and that would a loss to Kirklees.”
She added the key to Birkdale’s rise out of ‘special measures’ had been a fiveyear masterplan based around a tailormade curriculum.
Pupils follow personalised lesson plans and there is an intervention system which kicks in if grades or general classroom performance slips.
Mrs Caraher said: “It seems that, despite the loss of funding, Kirklees wants to squeeze Birkdale into other schools without them being expanded.
“I don’t understand that or the need for big schools.”

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